NFL Legend O.J. Simpson fell from grace in 1994 when he was suspected of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
During the 15-month murder trial, a media frenzy ensued, taking the nation on an emotional roller-coaster.
When the final verdict was announced on October 3, 1995, it became apparent how emotionally invested the nation was in this case– some being outraged about the verdict of innocence, and others being glad to see him go free.
Here’s a list of the best, and most intense moments recorded of the ’94 trial.
1. The Bronco Low-Speed Police Chase
On June 17th 1994, Simpson was expected to turn his self in to the Los Angeles Police Department at 11am, but Simpson was a no show. As it turns out, Simpson sent suicide letters to his friends that day prompting journalists and police to search for the now fugitive. The search culminated into a 20 police car, 20 helicopter, 35mph pursuit on the interstate. The chase lasted a little over an hour, and was viewed by 95 million viewers that day. The Bronco “low-speed” chase was one of the most intense moments in news history to date.
2. O.J. Tries On The Infamous Evidence, The Glove
After numerous errors at the D.N.A testing laboratories, leather gloves found at the crime scenes became pivotal pieces of evidence in the trial. Prosecutors produced evidence that the glove had a mixture of blood from the couple murdered, Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, as well as Simpson’s own blood. Prosecutors brought the evidence to trial, and attempted to prove that the gloves belonged to Simpson. Simpson’s attorney, Johnnie Cochran, insisted that Simpson wore latex gloves before trying on the gloves, and he did as advised. Television crews taped as Simpson struggled to slip the gloves on his hands, and displayed to millions that the gloves were too tight for his hands. When asked later why the gloves failed to fit his client, Johnnie Cochran said, ” I don’t think he could “act” the size of his hands. He would be a great actor if he could “act” his hands larger.”
3.Goldman Family Reacts To Loss
Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, made an emotional statement publicly bashing Simpson, saying, “He’s where he is because he committed murder!”after Simpson failed to take the stand and proclaim his innocence. Although it may have been part of the defense team’s strategy for Simpson to not take the stand, many viewers took this as an admission of guilt.
(Skip to 3:17)
4. Johnnie Cochran: If The Glove Doesn’t Fit, You Must Acquit
Defense lawyer Johnie Cochran coined one of the most memorable phrases during his closing arguments in the case, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”Cochran made a strong case that the gloves found at the murder scenes, could not be used as evidence in the case.
At 10 am on October 3, 1995, the judge read out, ” Supreme Court of California, County of Los Angeles in the matter of the State of California versus Orenthal James Simpson, case number BA 097211. We the jury, in the above-entitled action, find the defendant, Orenthal James Simpson, not guilty of the crime of murder.” While the nation was divided in response, O.J. Simpson was over-joyed that he would be a free man.